“negligent” crime

For this poem that I wrote months ago, I took the language from an article calling the child “a criminally negligent child”, and it brought to mind also the term “african child soldiers” both terms are just plain wrong to be used when talking about children.

 

A criminally negligent nine year old inflicted bodily harm with a gun on an eight year old during class at Armin Jahr Elementary school.
This was your typical nine year old dreaming about superheroes because he was told he could be one too. This was your typical nine year old who got used to the absence of his parents,
To the cruelty of the absence of his parents echoing muffled screams off the wall of his bedroom.
This was your typical nine year old wishing he had that awesome set of car races, that huge collection of baseball cards of Henry, and parents like Casey had, parents who were always there for you.
But this was not your typical gun.
From the moment, this .45 caliber handgun came off the factory; it was up to trouble, always waiting for

an opportunity to pop someone.
So when the negligent nine years old put it in the bag,

the day of glory had finally arrived and
no one was going to take that from it.
But a gun destined to glory
has to learn the right timing
To go off not before or after
There has to be a target or it’s pointless.
No mistake is allowed

Everything has to be perfect,

Carrier: a negligent nine year old.
Target: an eight year old and

when his school bag touched the ground
the gun spewed out its bullet
between a boy and a girl

into the stomach of the eight year old girl at 1000ft/s
into the school archives

in their hearts files.

Down went the girl.
An eight year old girl, who just got a bike, who finally started understanding Algebra, who couldn’t wait to get home to play with her cat.
Down she went.

They have passed each other in the hallway.
They have shared games and bruises.

They have shared school benches and pains of learning.
They have shared meals and drinks.
But now

They will never be all they can be

Other than a criminally negligent 9 year old and a 8 year old victim.
Each one to carry bravely his, her story through testimonies, Tv shows and book deals,
when they don’t knock themselves out with the bottle or the pill.
A gun had shot their past and futures
A bullet has eaten a chunk of their lives.

What do children do with guns?
Ask these AK-47 men
Stealing children, women and cattle
killing families first
then those stolen children with drugs, witchcrafts and guns
and finally chop away the human out of them
by forcing their hands in the killings of others
just like them.
They are not child soldiers
they are our dreams turned into nightmares.
Like the day a criminally negligent nine year old boy inflicted bodily harm on an eight year old.

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